Forgive me, but I have to ask....taking old guns out to shoot

Forgive me, but I have to ask....taking old guns out to shoot

This is a discussion on Forgive me, but I have to ask....taking old guns out to shoot within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have come into possession of my daddy's old Remington Targetmaster (.22), and I'd like to take it to the range for old times' sake. ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array ravinlunachick's Avatar
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    Forgive me, but I have to ask....taking old guns out to shoot

    I have come into possession of my daddy's old Remington Targetmaster (.22), and I'd like to take it to the range for old times' sake. It was the first gun I ever shot, and I have very fond memories of that poor, bullet-riddled Pepsi can. To my knowledge, it hasn't been fired in at least 20 years, maybe closer to 25. Daddy was a big believer in cleaning his guns after shooting, so it was fairly well-maintained as far as I know. He kept it in an open gun rack on the wall, though, and there are some tiny spots of rust on the barrel.

    We also have my husband's Remington Woodsmaster 30.06 that he inherited from his dad. It is in much better shape, having been stored in a leather case rather than an open gun rack, but it also hasn't been fired in about 20 years. We have some ammo in a leather pouch, but it has some corrosion spots on it, and I don't know if it's okay to shoot or not.

    What do I need to know or do before taking these guns out for a spin?

    Oh, there's an interesting backstory to my daddy's .22. His father saved a man's life by buying that gun. It was 1939, and his neighbor had come home unexpectedly from work to find yet another neighbor climbing out his bedroom window. Everybody on the mill village knew about the affair EXCEPT the husband. He was enraged and promptly fetched his recently purchased rifle and headed down the street to kill the lover. My grandpa "just happened" to bump into the guy and went on and on about how much he admired that rifle, and he offered to buy it right there. He insisted that it was so fine, he'd even pay a few dollars more than what it cost new, if the guy would sell it to him right there. Grandpa said that he wanted to take it hunting the next day. The guy refused at first, but when Grandpa pulled the cash from his pocket, he relented. Then Grandpa took him off to the woods to share a jar of shine and cry over unfaithful women. Given the circumstances, Grandma forgave the loss of money, and it has remained happily in our family ever since.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    The easiest answer is to take it to a gunsmith, but if you stick a no-go gauge in there and inspect the action for excessive rust (the kind that can undermine the integrity of the metal), as long as it passes the gauge it's probably fine. The corroded ammo...I don't think that's worth trying out. New production .30-06 isn't exactly cheap, but in the grand scheme of things it's a small price to pay to maximize your odds that it won't do anything "unexpected".

    And don't be afraid of old guns. I have an M1917 Enfield rifle in .30-06, January 1919 receiver and November 1918 barrel. Still shoots like a charm.

  3. #3
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    Cool story!

    I don't know the answer but think it's ok. Y'all may want to take it to your LGS and have them checked out first but I feel sure one of the long-timer gun fellows will have an answer for you soon!

    Welcome, nice to see another SC shooter here
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    Senior Member Array RebelSoul's Avatar
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    I love the story about the rifle. Angels on our shoulders right?

    As far as shooting the rifles? Safe play is to have a smith look at them. Better safe than sorry.

    You can certainly shoot older ammo but personally if it had corrosion on it I would not. Again, better safe than sorry.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    The guns I inherited from my father gets shot every year. I have a tradition with his old shotgun - the first shots of every Dove season comes from his old single shot 20 ga. He was a lot better with it than I am.

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    I mean I have a mosin from 1939 at home and ammo from the 69s for it..

    I would take it to a smith to be a 100 sure .. But unless the rust is deep and bad I would not worry too much .. If these were mil guns I be more worry due to corrsive ammo ..

    I would get new ammo though just to be safe ..

    Great story and enjoy

    Age does not mean much to guns .. Guns from the 1880 are still in use ..
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    Member Array ravinlunachick's Avatar
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    The range I use has a gunsmith on premises, so I'll ask them to take a look when I go. Just picking up and aiming that old .22 has me all sniffly and nostalgic now. I can't wait to fire it again.
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  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    I don't know what a qualified gunsmith would charge these days for a safety check but it shouldn't be too much.

    I think the first order of business would be to give it a good cleaning. That will give you a chance to do a general inspection of the barrel and action. Light, surface rust won't degrade the strength of the metal enough to matter.

    Then, I'd get some fresh ammo, and go have some fun.

    Great story!

  9. #9
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    Hi ravinlunachick;

    Love your story of the Remington .22. Made my day. Old stories about guns like that are always a gratifying read.

    Does that Remington Targetmaster also show Model 41 roll-marked anywhere on it? Not a very good photo of one but here's a Model 41 that could be similar. You mention the year 1939. Remington used the name "Targetmaster" on several different models of their single-shot bolt-action .22s including the Model 33 which was made for a couple of years in large quantities, from 1933 to 1935, the Model 41 also produced in large quantities from 1936 to 1939, and the Model 510 which was introduced in 1939 and sold to about the mid 1960s. Your rifle could be any of the three, probably one of the first two though. I've had a lot of experience with the Model 41 and Model 510 and both are bullet-proof and accurate rifles. Shame they aren't still produced. There can't anything wrong with any of the Targetmasters that would preclude you shooting it. Have a gunsmith look at it as you like but don't spend a bunch of money on it.

    Check out that wad of rope standing in for the forgotten sand bags that day the sights were being tweaked.

    The Remington Model 742 Woodsmaster is a nice semi-automatic rifle. I've known folks who owned and used them to great success. I'd be a little more keen on having a gunsmith examine it prior to use due to the high-intensity nature of the cartridge.
    ravinlunachick, OD* and Sister like this.
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    Member Array ravinlunachick's Avatar
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    It's a Model 41. I'll see if I can get any decent pics of it tomorrow. :)

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array elmacgyver0's Avatar
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    Unless the guns were abused before they were put away they are fine to shoot. Just clean them, make sure there are no barrel obstructions, perhaps a spider made a nest in the 06 barrel. If your unsure about the care they were given you can buy a go and no-go 30.06 gauge from Brownell's for probably less than it would cost to get it checked out from a gunsmith. If you take it to a gunsmith, know who you are taking it to. Gunsmiths are as common as internet preachers and many get their credentials from the same place.

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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I wish you were close by, Ive got a thing for old 22s! the target master is not that old to be worried over shooting it! They were a sturdy gun built for high speed 22 lr. I have a few guns that are from the low pressure Black Powder days That you have to be careful what you put in them. On both guns make sure the bores are clean and enjoy shooting them! have the gunsmith give them the once over and enjoy them for what they are. Family history! DR

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array NONAME762's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelSoul View Post
    I love the story about the rifle. Angels on our shoulders right?

    As far as shooting the rifles? Safe play is to have a smith look at them. Better safe than sorry.

    You can certainly shoot older ammo but personally if it had corrosion on it I would not. Again, better safe than sorry.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
    Old guns are cool. Old guns with history are better.

    Were it me I'd run a bore light in both then run an oiled patch followed by a dry patch. I'd keep the corroded ammo but keep it separated.
    Definitely shoot the ought six.

    I gave a buddy of mine 1R of AP .06 and he put it three fourths of the way through 1 inch of mild steel. It made a cool dimple on the other side. Some if not most of my 30.06 ammo came from Lake City.

    The shine story is a Jim Dandy. The first time I ever had some shine I was camping. It was mixed with cherry Kool-Aid. It was pretty awesome.

    Give us a range report when you get back.
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  14. #14
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    Gotta love old family handed down guns. I inherited a model 75 Winchester .22 rifle from my great grandfather as well as a few from my dad. Enjoy the shooting and remembering family.
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  15. #15
    Member Array ravinlunachick's Avatar
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    These are just iPhone pics, so they're definitely not the best, but here ya go.

    The .22 (after making these photos, I realize it's definitely in need of some TLC)














    The 30-06 cartridges (maybe they're not as bad as I'd thought?) They haven't been in the magazine long; I loaded it a few months ago, before we bought a handgun, when I was home alone and there were some strange men wandering down in our woods.


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